Handheld DNA Barcoder In Your Pocket ...But Not Yet

It's not a new cell phone or music player, but a DNA barcoder reader you might be able to actually buy in 10-15 years!


Why would you want one?

Let's say you are mushroom picking, and want to know whether a particularly delicious looking specimen you have found will kill you. Or you are fishing, and catch a fish that you are unfamiliar with. Or are an amateur botanist and want to identify a flower. Just scan a speck of the mushroom, or fish or flower with the DNA barcoder, which will search a database on the Internet and display the information you need and more!

What you have just done is identified a species by analyzing a short DNA sequence from a uniform locality on the genome. The science of DNA barcoding was pioneered only 6 years ago at the University of Guelph, but has since gone global under the international Barcode of Life (iBOL) project.

Miniaturization and hyperconnectivity will make this an indispensable tool... and toy. I'm told that the technology exists... but first we need an integrated desktop unit!

The applications of this technology are truly endless.

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